03 May 2013

Light Session #nlpoli

As of May 2, there are a mere six pieces of legislation on the list of bills currently set for debate in the House of Assembly.  It seems to be up to date because on Thursday they added links to a couple of the bills that are ready to start debate.

But they didn’t add any to the six listed there.


One of them is the budget.

Two others are related to the budget.  Here’s the entire body of the bill to amend the Revenue Administration Act:

1. Subsections 98(2) to (5) of the Revenue Administration Act are repealed.

2. Subsection 112(2) of the Act is repealed.

NLR 47/06 Rep.

3. The Labrador Border Zones Rebate Regulations, 2006 are repealed.


4. This Act comes into force on July 1, 2013.

That’s all there is to that one.

There’s another bill to amend the Service Charges Act and one to change the Highway Traffic Act.

And there’s a lengthy one that puts into law a set of changes to 1985 Atlantic Accord implementation act.  There’s a similar one in Nova Scotia and in the federal parliament.

Once you get through all that, there’s no sign of any other pieces of legislation in a session known for being pretty heavy for all the legislative work.  Normally, the spring session involves upwards of 35 bills, big and small including the budget.  There’s likely another four to six weeks until the House adjourns for the summer.  

But this year, the end is looming and the amount of work left to be done is pretty much negligible.  The Services Charges Act amendment bill is actually left from last year. Usually you’ll find some clues on significant new laws if you go through the throne speech.  Good luck doing that for 2013.

One thing to keep an eye out for is a new bill that would set rules for the way government buys goods and services.  Last year, the Conservatives listed something called the Procurement by Public Bodies Act as their very first bill in the spring session.  It’s mentioned right at the front end of the throne speech, right next to a mention of what became Bill 29.  Bill 1 was supposed to be an act to replace the Public Tender Act.

But it never showed up.  Word from the Hill is that the Tories took it back and completely re-wrote it. In itself, that’s weird since they would have already spent a huge amount of time drafting in the first place. Once they got the bill through cabinet and actually ready to present to the House, it should have been finished.  Instead, they decided to rework it completely

Totally nuts.

And now it’s lost somewhere in limbo.

Even nuttier.

Maybe it will be done for the current session.

Then again, this might be the lightest session on record.